How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Edison 31746
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Edison GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Edison dental practice and can carry out a multitude of functions. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many Georgia dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a Edison dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Georgia practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Georgia community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Edison area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Training
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program might be a great option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Edison home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental school is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Edison area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Georgia colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Edison area employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the school you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Edison area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most Edison area dental schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Edison dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene programs require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Georgia programs you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 31746 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Edison at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Dental School near Edison GAChoosing the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.